2015-16 Recap: Knicks 81, Bulls 108

Well, now that we’re finished watching the atrocity that was the 4th quarter of that game, we can digest some of the painful information from this shit-show (which the Knicks had come back to briefly lead late in the 3rd quarter) that would have been bested by a 2nd grade school play. It would have been less of an affront against the game of basketball had the team exhumed James Naismith’s corpse, took turns defecating into the skull and then used the feces as kindling to set the bones on fire, and James Naismith almost certainly would agree that would be preferable to what occurred in the 4th quarter against the Bulls.

The Knicks both started and finished the game 0-10 from the field, so at least there’s something to be said for their consistency. After falling behind by 16 points to end the 1st, the Knicks clawed their way back into the game with a 12-1 run to end the 2nd quarter and trailed by only 6 at halftime. Slowly but surely they got themselves back into the game as the 2nd half began, and even briefly claimed the lead near the end of the 3rd quarter before all hell broke loose. The last 7:11 of the game went as follows (and this is rated NA-17, seriously, kids need to have adult supervision to see these kinds of heinous crimes against basketball in print):

Langston Galloway TO
Kristaps TO
Afflalo TO
Lance Thomas missed 3
Melo 2-2 FT
Afflalo missed 3
Jerian Grant missed lay-up
Kevin Seraphin 0-2 FT
D-Will missed 3
Afflalo missed 2
Vujacic missed 3
Seraphin missed 2
Seraphin missed 2
Grant missed 2
Grant missed 3

Good lord. The Bulls are the best team in the league in opponent FG% at 41.7%, and they held the Knicks to 31-84 shooting for 36.9%, a percentage that kept plummeting in the 4th quarter as exhibited by the 31-8 advantage the Bulls had in the last period. The Knicks were outrebounded by 12, had only 3 fast break points, and forced only 7 turnovers. They also allowed the Bulls to shoot 10/16 from 3 (62.5%), and remember, the Knicks are actually #1 in the league in OPP 3PT% so far this season. RoLo played only 22 minutes because of foul trouble and was one of the only bright spots in the game with a +/- of -5, which soars past Afflalo’s astonishingly awful -34. Seriously, Afflalo was to basketball what Bill Cosby is to consensual intercourse tonight.

To be fair, I shouldn’t have to put any more effort into this article than the Knicks put into the 4th quarter, but the only way to accomplish that would be to post a picture of a car covered in bird shit and call it a recap.

car covered in bird shit

I am as disgusted as any of you are tonight, especially after seeing the comeback and thinking the Knicks had regained momentum and would perhaps get the win they desperately needed. For a while, they played like a team that knew it needed a win, but somewhere around the 2 minute mark of the 3rd quarter, the Knicks collectively decided to do the basketball equivalent of skydiving without a parachute. It was enormously disappointing and, frankly, brutal to watch. I imagine the 4th quarter of this game will be on a Faces of Death video in the near future.

One thing I do want to mention is how good Bobby Portis looked; it helped that RoLo couldn’t seem to find a way back into the game to help guard him (THANKS FISH), but he looked every bit as good as he did when he won SEC Player of the Year at Arkansas. I saw him in person a couple times in Knoxville (I’m a University of Tennessee alum, at least they did me good today and beat Northwestern’s ass in the Outback Bowl, a college coincidentally located in Chicago) and I knew he would be a good pro. I thought the Bulls stole him with the 18th pick in the draft this year, and it might have been better if Noah had been able to play instead of the much more offensively capable Portis. He and Jimmy Butler destroyed the Knicks in the 4th, along with some ridiculous shot-making by Mcdermott and Mirotic and basically everyone else wearing red and black, which I think killed whatever spirit the Knicks had left from the run they made to get themselves back into the game.

The 27-point drubbing was the Knicks’ worst loss of the season, and as I’m sure you’re done reading about it, I’m done writing about it. If this doesn’t elicit a response of pride out of sheer embarrassment in the team in their next game hosting Atlanta at MSG, I don’t know what on Earth possibly could.

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Erik Judd

I'm a lifelong basketball fan whose interests range from some things to other things.

13 thoughts to “2015-16 Recap: Knicks 81, Bulls 108”

  1. I couldn’t believe, as an outside observer, how the Bulls could justify burying Portis for as long as they did. At the same time, I couldn’t believe he lasted as long as he did in the draft, so maybe he’s just one of those guys who is easy to underestimate. He looks like he’ll be a good player for Chicago for a number of years.

  2. A lot of smart front offices stuck with picks in the 20’s groaned just as loudly when the Bulls got Portis as when the Heat got Winslow at 10, I imagine. The rich get richer.

  3. Yeah, so far Portis looks much better than Grant and a lot of other guys picked before him. I liked him before the draft.

  4. I liked him a lot, as well, but the draft was so deep I don’t think he would have been in my top dozen picks. So while I think he went too low, at least it wasn’t like Kawhi Leonard, where I thought he was one of the top six prospects that draft and he lasted to #15!! Here, I think around #15 would have been fair for Portis, and considering how good he was coming in, that says a lot about how good this draft was. Man, this draft was so good!!! Thank goodness the Knicks had a high pick in a great draft for a change!!!

  5. Small sample size guys, Portis has played a total of 11 games this season, and in two of those he was on the court for 2 and 4 minutes. He’s had a few nice games of late, but let’s hold off calling him the steal of the draft until he’s played maybe 20-25 games, ok?

  6. I thought he was a steal as soon as he was drafted. Him not playing until recently is a knock on the Bulls, I think, not a knock on him.

  7. I’m not saying that LMA is the cause of any offensive improvement, per se. But if scoring efficiency was the end-all be-all, a guy with a .522 TS on 25.4 usage (which leads team) should have a dramatic negative impact on an elite offense.

    Or the guy (his name is Kawhi Leonard) who improves his TS from 56 to 61 while taking 2.5 more FGA per game… he might offset that guy with the poor efficiency.

    Again, this argument is predicated on the assumptions that (1) LMA improves teammates’ efficiency through his play and/or (2) LMA takes the poor xPPS shots that must be taken by a team during the course of a game, and converts them (52% TS or whatever) at a rate higher than average.

    Sound familiar? (You’ve used the same one for Melo, another mediocre shot-converter who takes a lot of poor xPPS shots.)

  8. I thought he was a steal as soon as he was drafted. Him not playing until recently is a knock on the Bulls, I think, not a knock on him.

    That’s fine that you thought he was a steal, but my point is it’s way too early for everyone to be going gaga over him. He may end up being great, he may not. I personally am not that impressed, I think he looks like he’s being paid on shot attempts/minute, but I may end up being totally wrong also.

  9. All the discussion about Paul George and Melo yesterday made me think of a question for this forum. If Melo and George are similar in impact this year (which I accept based on yesterday’s discussion) what is it that makes the Pacers have a much better record than the Knicks?

  10. All the discussion about Paul George and Melo yesterday made me think of a question for this forum. If Melo and George are similar in impact this year (which I accept based on yesterday’s discussion) what is it that makes the Pacers have a much better record than the Knicks?

    The other 11 players on the roster?

  11. All the discussion about Paul George and Melo yesterday made me think of a question for this forum. If Melo and George are similar in impact this year (which I accept based on yesterday’s discussion) what is it that makes the Pacers have a much better record than the Knicks?

    Here’s my take on why the Pacers have been better than the Knicks so far this year in order of importance:

    1. Paul George has been appreciably better; I disagree with the people that argue they have had a similar impact. I think the relatively better advanced stats like BPM reflect his. I think George has been moderately better on offense and significantly better on defense. Melo has a few isolated defensive stats that look good, but those stats are notoriously hyper-volatile and luck-infested (opponent 3 point % in particular needs a very big sample to be meaningful). The Knicks have been much worse defensively when Melo is on the floor than when he isn’t, though admittedly that is also a very volatile measure.

    2. Frank Vogel is a top 5 NBA coach and Fisher is bottom 10.

    3. George Hill has been much better than any Knick guard. Calderon has been an awesome shooter but is a real problem on defense.

    4. CJ Miles has been better than any Knick wing.

    5. Ian Mahinmi has surprisingly been better than Lopez though I suspect this may be conflated with #2.

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